Have dreams of looking youthful well into middle age? Want to age gracefully and naturally? Well, hold onto your hat! The number one cause of premature aging of the skin is sun damage. As a holistic dermatologist, my first approach is always prevention.
From childhood, one should be protecting the skin from excessive sun. Unfortunately, the ozone layer’s natural sun protection has degraded due to an excess of carbon monoxide and chlorofluorocarbons–a sad environmental problem related to the “skin” of the earth.
Fortunately, there are still ways we can enjoy the sun and protect ourselves from wrinkles, skin cancer, and the release of free-radicals into the body.
- avoid the sun at its strongest hours, 11 am to 3 pm, by staying indoors
- when outside, wear light colored protective clothes covering limbs, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses for the eyes
- folks who burn easily should use high SPF clothing, specifically made to protect from the sun
- apply high-factor sunscreen (I like non-nano zinc oxide and titanium best) to the face, ears, exposed parts of the neck, and chest
- re-apply sunscreen every two hours and again after going in the water
- never stay in the sun long enough to burn (skin becoming pink is a sure sign)
- take ample doses of anti-oxidants A, C, & E, and bioflavinoids, during sun exposure to help the body recover
Do spend up to ten minutes per day in the sun several times a week however to make sure your body makes enough vitamin D, and enjoy the summer!
As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to diagnose, or treat illness; please see your physician for care.